Phil Thompson has told Soccer Saturday on Sky Sports (broadcast on 2/11; 17:48) that he was impressed by Mesut Ozil’s performance in Arsenal’s draw with Wolves, but suggested that Dani Ceballos has not done enough to secure a place in the team.
Unai Emery is coming under increasing pressure at the Emirates. The Gunners threw away another lead this season as Wolves left North London with a 1-1 draw.
The game saw Ozil make only his second Premier League start of the season. The fans had been imploring Emery to hand the 31-year-old another chance, and he finally provided him with an opportunity after a superb performance in midweek.
And Thompson suggested that Ozil was one of the few shining lights for the Gunners, as he claimed that one of the club’s summer signings was one of the bigger disappointments.
“Mesut Ozil played today, and I think he did really well,” he told Soccer Saturday.
“He was a good link-up player that you see. But you still felt that they were a little bit flaky. There wasn’t enough. Ceballos, I don’t really think he’s doing enough to warrant playing in this side.”
It is surely fair to argue that Ceballos has not done enough since arriving at the Emirates in the summer. But it would also be unfair to be too scathing in the criticism of the 23-year-old. There have been flashes of brilliance, and it would be no surprise to see him make a big impact as the season continues.
Ozil meanwhile, appears to have done enough to secure a much more regular spot for the time-being. The problem, some Arsenal fans may argue, is that Emery’s team selections and tactical decisions can be erratic and difficult to explain at times. So perhaps, no-one will feel safe assuming that Ozil will keep his place until the lineup is announced.